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Green house

Using Airbnb is greener than staying in hotels

key-exchange.jpg
Shutterstock

Airbnb recently scored surprise props from Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, a hotel-industry competitor. And news today about the environmental benefits of staying in shared homes versus hotels might add up to yet another W for the growing vacation-rental juggernaut.

According to a study conducted by Airbnb and Cleantech Group, travelers who stay in Airbnb properties tend to eat up less energy than traditional hotel guests. In a press release, Airbnb chief product officer and cofounder Joe Gebbia says, "In North America alone, Airbnb guests use 63 percent less energy than hotel guests -- that's enough energy to power 19,000 homes for one year." The study also suggests that both Airbnb hosts and guests tend to be greener consumers.

Some other highlights from the study:

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The NFL’s newest stadium is also one of the greenest

NRG Solar Terrace (1)
LevisStadium.com

Traditionally, sports fans have not been the most eco-minded lot. One way pro leagues and team owners can help fans jump on the green bandwagon: LEED by example. That's the promise of the San Francisco 49ers' new stadium, which on Monday received LEED Gold certification. Levi's Stadium, set to open next month, is the second NFL arena to earn Gold cred (the Baltimore Ravens' M&T Bank Stadium is the other). Here are more details on the Niners' new digs, from The Sacramento Bee: The 49ers’ stadium achieved the certification through a number of means, including water use. About 85 percent of the water used in the stadium …

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A Tesla for the rest of us? Elon Musk dishes on the new, cheaper model

tesla cars factory
Tesla Motor Events

One of the knocks against Tesla (besides the slight chance of the automaker's cars going up in flames) is that the sexy zero-emission rides are darn expensive. Case in point: The much ballyhooed Model S starts at $69,900.

But a more affordable Tesla is on the way. CEO Elon Musk recently announced that a new model, called the 3, will start at around $35,000. The 3 is set to be on sale by 2017.

Here are some additional details, via an exclusive with U.K. car mag Auto Express:

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Get a Kick Out of Recycling

Now that you don’t care about soccer, here’s how you can recycle your World Cup gear

soccer-team-feet-shutterstock
Shutterstock

The World Cup is a wrap, which means it's that quadrennial time for most of us Americans to stop caring about soccer. But before you ditch your impulse-buy Neymar jersey, peep the above parody video from the UCB comedy troupe. "World Cup Recycling" is a hilarious take on repurposing all the trendy soccer items Americans copped during Cupmania -- and probably won't use again for the foreseeable future.

And who knows, maybe 2014 will finally be the World Cup that turns more Americans into everyday soccer fans: According to ESPN, U.S. viewership on the sports network doubled between 2006 and 2014.

Anyone want to kick the brazuca around?

Read more: Living

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This is what one week of your trash might look like

Garbage stinks for the planet. Food waste is a prime carbon emitter. Plastic junk ends up in our oceans. Still, even well-intentioned greenies probably drop their trash in the dumpster (after sorting the compost and recyclables, of course) and don't think much about their rubbish again.

Photographer Gregg Segal wants to change that. For his ongoing project, "7 Days of Garbage," Segal shows images of people nestled up to the trash they amassed over a week. Spend a little time with the photographs and it's hard not to notice the uneaten grub and glut of plastic:

Gregg Segal
Gregg Segal
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Gregg Segal

Here's a little more about the project from Slate:

Read more: Living

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Move the Goal

Yes, Brazil’s loss was a shocker — but please don’t call it a disaster

sad Brazilian tumblr
sadbrazilians.tumblr.com

Shocker. Upset. Fail. These are perfectly appropriate words to describe Germany's 7-1 takedown of Brazil in the World Cup today.

But let's tread lightly on the "disaster" talk, please.

Look, I get it. Brazil is a soccer-mad country of close to 200 million people and the host country of this year's Cup. Brazil has won five World Cup titles, more than any nation. Brazil birthed Pelé. The loss is a colossal disappointment, evidence that even soccer superpowers on their home turf are vulnerable.

But a calamity, this is not.

Read more: Living

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From math-lover to talent discoverer: Make Grist’s birthday count

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Grist has one more day to reach our 15th birthday goal. According to my math, we’re 968 gifts away.

The 15 year-old me — that kid in the backwards cap — spent my days playing J.V. baseball, listening to Wu-Tang Clan, and geeking out over polynomial functions.

Somewhere along the way, I lost the cap and glasses and my love of numbers lost out to a love of words. Now I’m working a new angle as the founding director of Grist’s fellowship program — sort of like a guidance counselor who coaches up budding green journalists.

We wish we didn’t have to ask, but it costs money to do what we do. Or, as the Wu once put it, cash rules everything around me.

Will you pitch in a few bucks to fund Grist’s future? You'll have our gratitude to the power of infinity.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Cheers! Grist has a new class of fellows

From left: Amber Cortes, Eve Andrews, Samantha Larson

Back in October, we told you we were looking for a few good fellows. Well, we found ‘em. And we couldn’t be more jazzed.

Please welcome Amber Cortes, Eve Andrews, and Samantha Larson, the first class of the Grist Fellowship Program. Starting this month, our trio of budding journalists will dive deeply into timely topics, interview the green movement’s emerging innovators and provocateurs, and experiment with different storytelling techniques. In general, we expect the new fellows to add a little spark to what we do.

A writer and multimedia strategist, Amber previously brought her bright ideas to public radio stations including WNYC in New York and KUOW in Seattle. Eve is fresh off of her gig as research director at Food Tank, where she wrote about our food system from all angles. And Samantha reported on the inexact science of storm ratings, among other hot topics, for National Geographic.

If you’re interested in becoming a future fellow, stay tuned. The application process for fall 2014 fellowships will begin this March. Check the program page or follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Read more: Uncategorized

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The next generation of eco-heroes

Andrew Simon.
Chantal Andrea
Andrew Simon.

When you donate to Grist, you aren't just supporting our high-quality coverage of things like bike news, carbon-intensive habits to kick, and cute animal videos that will stop your morale from going down the tube -- you're helping us create a new generation of eco-heroes.

As the director of Grist’s new fellowship program, I'll be providing guidance to budding young writers and editors, helping them find their voice as storytellers. Our program will churn out environmental journalists dedicated to sounding the alarm on planetary issues whenever and wherever they can. That’s especially important now, with Big Media slashing climate and environmental coverage all the time -- even as the need for information grows more urgent.

Don’t let green journalists go the way of the dodo. We're shooting for 2,500 donations by Dec. 17. Help fund our journalism-conservation efforts and support Grist with a gift today.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living